DailyDirt: Harnessing A Lot Of Energy Ain't Easy

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

We've mentioned some advances in fusion energy research not too long ago, and it looks like Germany is ready to take a few more baby steps towards figuring out how to control insanely hot plasma. Still, we're a long way from plentiful fusion-generated electricity (not counting solar), but if we want to stop burning fossil fuels, we're going to need to do some more research. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Filed Under: angela merkel, energy, fission, fusion, lightning, nuclear energy, stellarator, wendelstein 7-x


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2016 @ 5:27pm

    Solar Updraft Towers

    If you build solar updraft towers offshore of desert areas, you could intentionally build it to try to induce thunderstorms either inside the tower, or immediately downwind of it. Either way you would have the opportunity to try to capture and use the resulting discharges.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_updraft_tower

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 4 Feb 2016 @ 5:34pm

    It'd be cool if they could harness lightning to start fusion reactions...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 Feb 2016 @ 6:33pm

    Re: maybe ... a few more decades

    Maybe not that many more decades...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 4 Feb 2016 @ 11:55pm

    Sigh

    So many billions for magnetically confided plasma fusion, and so few millions for polywell. :(

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Agent76, 5 Feb 2016 @ 6:04am

    German Renewable Energy

    I would not hold my breath on that idea! If this were not their sign I do not know what would be.

    Dezember 6, 2014 German Renewable Energy Keeps Blacking Out! Supply Often Less Than 2% Of Wintertime Demand

    The folly of Germany’s mad rush into renewable energy, and the country’s hysterical obsession with its suicidal fast-track shutdown of its stable base-electric-power generation.

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/12/06/german-renewable-energy-keeps-blacking-out-supply-often-less-than -2-of-wintertime-demand/

    Nov 30, 2015 IEA's World Energy Outlook 2015

    The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is pleased to host Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA's World Energy Outlook 2015.

    https://youtu.be/1e1iQEFflLA

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 5 Feb 2016 @ 6:50am

    Fossil Fuels have been Humanities Best Friend

    Still, we're a long way from plentiful fusion-generated electricity (not counting solar), but if we want to stop burning fossil fuels, we're going to need to do some more research.

    While it is true that burning fossil fuels may release harmful pollutants into the environment human use of fossil fuels is directly responsible for humanities exponentially increased standards of living and increased life span gained since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

    Fossil fuels when 'cracked' play the starring role in all Western persons lives on a daily basis from refrigeration, cooking, travelling, fertilizers, pharmacheuticals, plastics, communications, etal. The benefits reaped by fossil fuel usage by humanity are incalculable.

    Link to list of everyday products created via cracking long chain hydrocarbons:

    http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20Petroleum.htm

    The use of fission to boil water, spin turbines and generate electricity is the height of human insanity.

    During a nuclear generating stations operation what is known as the nuclear fuel cycle occurs which involves the generation of many dangerous non-naturally occurring radioisotopes and tremendous amounts (tens of thousands of tons) of other highly radioactive waste (eg nuclear fuel) some short lived some very long lived.

    http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/stages-fuel-cycle.html

    The US government in the 70 years after the beginning of the Manhattan Project at it's Hanford Washington site (other sites too) is still bumbling it's way through multi-tens of billions of dollars in failed clean up efforts from removing plutonium leeched into the top soil to stopping tens of millions of gallons of highly radioactive effluent slowly leaking from single-walled 70 year old storage tanks into the surrounding environment and water supply.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanford_Site

    In the 60 years that the fission for electricity generation experiment has run it's course there still is no long term storage facility solution to be found in the US and some of the toxic by-products already released into the environment thus contaminating large areas totaling millions of square miles and poisoning us for billions of years (eg depleted uranium) to come.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain_nuclear_waste_repository


    PS The scientific jury is still out on the origins of long chain hydrocarbon deposits.

    The highlighted paragraph and sentence below were excerpted from:

    Petroleum Its Origin

    The precise details regarding the twin problems of origin, and migration and accumulation of petroleum have yet to be fully answered. Recent advances in analytical chemistry and geochemistry have advanced the knowledge and understanding, but issues remain to be resolved.

    There are two theories of origin: Organic (bionic) or Inorganic (abionic).

    http://dnr.louisiana.gov/assets/TAD/education/BGBB/3/origin.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 6:50am

    We are thinking of storing the energy of a lightning strike but what about the static that actually ends up generating such discharges? Would it be possible?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    M. Alan Thomas II (profile), 5 Feb 2016 @ 12:49pm

    Small nuclear reactors may be expensive, but large ones . . . well, the infrastructure cost of the plants themselves is expensive, but the production cost of the energy is cheap.

    Of course, on the safety front, the safest reactors are the newest models, while we've been so worried about safety in the U.S. that we haven't let anyone build them (or any new reactor) and instead keep extending the permitted operational life of the old ones. 9_9

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 5 Feb 2016 @ 11:27pm

    We Must Not Allow A Fusion Gap!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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